Referees’ job is getting harder as rugby becomes more fast and furious | Robert Kitson

World Rugby has warned officials after oversights in opening World Cup matches and can only hope for a swift improvement From the moment players first lace up their boots everyone in rugby learns the same mantra. It goes like this: the referee is always right, even when he is wrong. Respect for officials has to be absolute because otherwise there can be no meaningful game. For World Rugby, therefore, to flag up problems with substandard officiating four days into a Rugby World Cup is a seriously big deal. The statement was suitably diplomatic, of course. “The match officials team recognise that performances over the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019 were not consistently of the standards set by World Rugby and themselves.” The world’s best referees, to all intents, have been told to blow their whistles in unison and march themselves back 10 metres. Continue reading...

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